Writer, Musician, and Actor
Welcome to another “DIRTY BLONDE CONNECTION”
Bob Stillman composed the Music and Lyrics for Claudia Shear’s Dirty Blonde. He also arranged the music.
Education: Bob studied piano and composition at the Julliard and Manhattan Schools beginning at age 9. He went on to graduate with honors in music from Princeton.
Tony Nominations: He’s been nominated twice for Tony Awards—first as actor, composer and onstage pianist in “Dirty Blonde, (2000)” and later as one of the songwriters for “Urban Cowboy(2003).”
Drama Desk Award Nomination: Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (2011)
CD: Checkout his 2003 debut CD “Come Down Angel
Click to view source site and to learn more
By Artistic Associate Tamera N. Izlar
Dirty Blonde — Interesting vocabulary
Albatross: A large white ocean bird that has very long wings Note: Mae West’s play entitled Sex was originally entitled The Albatross. The title (The Albatross) is in reference to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem entitled The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Note: Director Edward Elsner was the only one of several experienced directors they approached who liked it (play entitled Sex). As soon as he read it in her hotel room, he was enthusiastic. He particularly liked the second act jazz band on stage, a feature all of the other directors had hated. He told Mae that she had written a great play and she agreed. Mae changed the title to Sex. “I don’t think I had a winning title. People were always asking me what an albatross was. When I changed the title to Sex, nobody asked me what it was. It was a simple title for a complex subject. Many years later, Mae defined sex for film critic and friend Kevin Thomas as “emotion in motion” Source
A place of reverence many travel from near and far to visit, Cypress Hills Cemetery was founded on November 21, 1848 and officially opened in 1851.
In the play Dirty Blonde, Jo visits the Cypress Hills Mausoleum in Brooklyn, New York to view Mae West’s grave site. Click to view a video in which you can view her engraved tomb.
In addition to Mae West, other notable figures were laid to rest in the Cypress Hills Mausoleum. Equal rights figures noted for their work and contributions to the progress of African-Americans such as Elizabeth Jennings Graham (1830-1901), Thomas Downing (1791-1866), Arturo Schomburg (1874-1938), James McCune Smith (1813-1865), and Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) are also buried at the Cypress Hills Mausoleum.
Medal of Honor veterans, Police officers, and fellow artists are buried in the Cypress Hill Mausoleum.
Click to learn more about the other notable figures laid to rest at the Cypress Hill Mausoleum.
Vaudeville is a term you will hear referenced in Triad Stage’s spring production of Dirty Blonde. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, in the United States the term connotes a light entertainment popular from the mid-1890s until the early 1930s that consisted of 10 to 15 individual unrelated acts, featuring magicians, acrobats, comedians, trained animals, jugglers, singers, and dancers. It is the counterpart of the music hall and variety in England.
Did you know?
The term vaudeville, adopted in the United States from the Parisian boulevard theatre, is probably a corruption of vaux-de-vire, satirical songs in couplets, sung to popular airs in the 15th century in the Val-de-Vire (Vau-de-Vire), Normandy, France.
It passed into theatrical usage in the early 18th century to describe a device employed by professional actors to circumvent the dramatic monopoly held by the Comédie-Française. Forbidden to perform legitimate drama, they presented their plays in pantomime, interpreting the action with lyrics and choruses set to popular tunes. It eventually developed into a form of light musical drama, with spoken dialogue interspersed with songs, that was popular throughout Europe.
“Vaudeville.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vaudeville>.
“vaudeville”. Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2014. Web. 24 Dec. 2014